← Back to news

Ourselves, From a Distance

Unlike many depictions of environmental destruction, Grisha Coleman’s work shows us the path we’re headed on, but points to a less dreadful aftermath than we’re used to hearing. Yes, destruction of our environment is terrifying. Yes, we could wipe out our entire civilization. These things are, objectively, bad for us. But there’s something beautiful in the way we can gather up the pieces of our past—the things we’ve uncovered about the earth before we even existed, about early humans, and so on—and figure out a timeline, and with that, a story. This story we discover might not be perfect, but it is reassuring. It reminds us that when we say history repeats itself, we don’t just mean that as a warning: we also acknowledge that we are creating history itself; that we will not go unnoticed. Of course I’m not advocating for recklessness. I wouldn’t want to be remembered as the shitty era of people that self-destructed “just ‘cause.” We don’t have to be reckless to make history. Grisha Coleman’s performance shows an evident urging against that. In the structure of that performance, however—like how Coleman’s treadmills bring much-needed memories of childhood joy into my adulthood—Coleman’s humans evolve to their pre-treadmill state. In this, we see the cycles, narratives, moments of glory, and moments of tragedy that make life itself, and make it beautiful.

Read the Full Article